Frequently asked questions

On this page you can find answers to our frequently asked questions about Aarhus University's physical development.

 

 

What will happen in the University Park?

THE UNIVERSITY PARK will continue to be the natural centre of AU’s campus. The following will take place in the University Park: 

  • The Skou Building will be taken into use in 2018.
  • Renovation of the laboratories is expected to be completed in 2021.
  • There will more life in the University Park, including better lighting, more student-related activities and the establishment of three tunnels to the University City.

Individual older buildings which are no longer suitable as laboratory buildings will be put to new use.    

What is the University City?

The University City is the site currently occupied by the Municipal Hospital. The name ‘University City’ was chosen because the area will include other activities besides the university. The aim for the area is to create an attractive, exciting campus that also integrates urban life, shops, businesses, housing and institutions, and which creates connections with the surrounding neighbourhoods.    

When will relocation to the University City commence?

FEAS (Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S) will take over the former Municipal Hospital site on 1 May 2019. In the coming years, AU will begin to use the area in step with the university’s needs. For a number of years, FEAS will therefore rent out parts of the area for other purposes. Relocation will take place at the earliest in 2021, since time must be spent on the conversion and renovation of the buildings. The relocation will also be adapted to the rate of the transfer of the hospital's activities to Skejby. The relocation rate will depend on an assessment of the extent to which relocation makes both academic and financial sense for the research and teaching programmes, and will be planned in collaboration with the faculties involved. The relocation will take place in stages. 

Which subjects, programmes and research groups will move into the University City?

Phase 1 (2019-2021) – Molecular Biology and Genetics (AU will retain the DNC building)

 

  • At a meeting in October 2017, the board approved AU’s lease of approx. 23,000 m2 (gross) from FEAS.
  • The lease applies to the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), which will centralise all of its activities at one location rather than the current six locations in Aarhus, Foulum and Flakkebjerg.
  • MBG will be the first department to relocate to the University City. The department is scheduled to take over the buildings at the northern end of the municipal hospital property in 2021. Local users are being involved in the process in connection with preparations for the relocation.

Phase 2 (approx. 2020-2021) – Establishment of student housing

  • AU will establish student housing in the University City.
  • The University Park currently contains about 500 units of student housing, and AU’s ambition is to significantly increase the amount of student housing on campus.
  • Offering on-campus housing will strengthen students’ sense of affiliation with the university and will contribute to more life on campus round the clock.
  • AU will convert the former nurses’ residence hall and the current patient hotel to student housing.
  • AU will also provide housing for PhD students and postdocs as well as a residence hall primarily for international students.

Phase 3 (approx. 2021-2022) – Student organisations and student activities

  • The university wishes to ensure that students are provided with facilities for their organisations, student-run activities etc.
  • These will be developed in close dialogue with students.

Phase 4 (approx. 2022-2024) – Relocation of Aarhus BSS from Fuglesangs Allé

  • Aarhus BSS’ activities will be relocated from Fuglesangs Allé (business management and economics) to the University City.
  • This will enable Aarhus BSS to locate its activities from Fuglesangs Allé in close proximity to the faculty’s other activities in Aarhus (political science, law and psychology) which are located in the northeastern corner of the University Park.
  • The faculty’s business activities will contribute to strengthening AU’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship – and the faculty’s many students will contribute to the vitality of the entire campus.

Phase 5 (approx. 2024-2025) – Relocation of Arts from Kasernen

  • AU will relocate Arts’ activities currently located at Kasernen (including dramaturgy/musicology, comparative literature/rhetoric, as well as art history/aesthetics and culture/museology) to the University City.
  • Locating these activities at the northern end of the University City will bring them closer to Arts’ additional activities in the Nobel Park.
  • These activities will contribute to creating a vibrant, active campus.
  • In the University City, Arts needs a theatre and cultural facilities that can also be used by external parties, which will help draw the surrounding city into the University City area.

How will Aarhus University work to meet the ten overall principles for the university's physical development, as adopted by the Board?

1: How vill AU promote the integration of research and education?

In conjunction with the specific arrangement and involvement of the individual school or department, there will be focus on the integration of research and education, e.g. in the form of study spaces close to research environments, as well as overall good opportunities for students to meet researchers – instead of keeping the two activities very separate.

2: How will AU promote interdisciplinary research, education and innovation?

AU is a university with considerable academic breadth and in the years to come, the university will therefore work on how we can use these strengths through interdisciplinary activities. In concrete terms, AU wishes to create synergies between relevant degree programmes by e.g. physically locating them close to each other. For example, engineering activities are being moved from Navitas to Katrinebjerg, to be combined with engineering activities at that location. In addition, interdisciplinary innovation is promoted through the development of Innovation Hubs.

3: How will AU promote the teaching forms of the future?

AU wishes the premises/facilities to be used for teaching to be flexible (i.e. they can be used for several purposes), to match the digital development, and to be established on the basis of the needs and wishes of current and future students and employees.

4: How will AU be a flexible study environment with many study spaces?

AU wishes the premises/rooms to be used for study spaces to have several functions and to be arranged according to the users’ specific needs and wishes.

In addition, AU sees a need for investment in study spaces, group rooms and study environments in the immediate vicinity of the formal classrooms.

5: How will AU be an international campus?

On taking over the former Municipal Hospital’s area, AU has created a framework that makes it possible to maintain and expand the university's strong position as a future-oriented, urban-integrated campus of high international calibre – and thereby attract both international students and staff. In addition, there is a wish for a hall of residence that is targeted especially at international students, as well as visitor accommodation for visiting scholars, and a wish for nursery schools with an international profile.

6: How will AU be able to offer housing to students and researchers?

Today, the University Park has almost 500 housing units. AU has the ambition to increase the number of student housing units on campus – and also a wish to establish accommodation for researchers on campus. The aim is for up to 30% of the area of the future University City to be devoted to housing. The many housing units will help to strengthen students’ and researchers’ sense of affiliation with their study programme, and also draw more activities and more life to the campus. AU is also working together with the City of Aarhus to establish more housing for young people close to campus.

7: How will AU promote collaboration with the business community and the local community?

AU will work to establish collaboration with the business community in the University City. AU expects that more small businesses will have premises in the University City in the longer term. In addition, there will be more facilities for start-up businesses, student incubators and entrepreneurship. This will strengthen AU’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

8: How will AU be enhanced with non-university activities?

AU will integrate urban life, shops, businesses, housing and institutions in the University City, and create links to the surrounding neighbourhoods. This might be childcare institutions, bookstores, coffee bars etc. In addition, there is a wish to open up e.g. theatres and music venues to students and employees, as well as local residents. Work is also taking place on the area’s outdoor areas, which will create living spaces not only for AU’s users, but also for residents and the business community in the area and neighbouring areas.

9: How will AU be a car-free campus area?

The aim is to create a living, relatively car-free area. This will be achieved by e.g. giving the former Hospitalsgade in the University City a new identity as a university thoroughfare that is closed to through-going traffic. In addition, most of the parking facilities will be in underground car parks, so that undeveloped parts of the area can be used primarily for recreational spaces and green areas.

10: How will AU be sustainably developed?

In the work of creating a living and future-oriented campus, there will be a focus on sustainability, with sustainable solutions for AU’s rebuilding and renovation, but also sustainable solutions in the running of buildings. AU would like to take this opportunity to try out new ideas for sustainable solutions from students and researchers in the University City.

What will happen with the engineering activities?

ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES FROM NAVITAS TO KATRINEBJERG

AU will seek to sell Navitas and move the engineering activities from here, to combine them with the activities at Katrinebjerg. Katrinebjerg is AU’s centre for digitisation, digital design, information studies and engineering activities. By relocating the engineering activities from Navitas to Katrinebjerg, AU wishes to strengthen and further develop the area. The plans for the physical development of Katrinebjerg must be seen in conjunction with – and must support – the university’s digitisation strategy and strategic engineering initiative.

The local development plan for Katrinebjerg includes the establishment of residential and commercial properties, as well as green recreational areas. The former commercial district in Katrinebjerg is being transformed into an attractive area with teaching and research facilities, and homes for a wide selection of residents and businesses – all built up around a public street that will bind the area together internally and create an external link to the University Park and the University City.     

What will happen with the activities at Kasernen and in the science park?

KASERNEN/THE SCIENCE PARK

In the longer term, Arts’ activities at Kasernen will be relocated to the University City (in around 2024-2025), and ST can take over these buildings.

Molecular Biology and Genetics will relocate to the University City (in around 2021), and the vacated buildings will be used to expand the engineering activities.     

What changes will take place outside Aarhus?

FOOD SCIENCE ACTIVITIES WILL BE GATHERED IN SKEJBY

AU will centralise its food science activities from Foulum and Årslev in a new building to be constructed in the Agro Food Park in Skejby. This means that the lease in Årslev will be terminated by the end of 2019, just as the parts of Foulum where food science activities are located will also be vacated (animal science and agro-ecology activities will remain in Foulum, however).
 

BIOCIENCE

Activities in Silkeborg and Kalø will be centralised in Aarhus.    

Does AU need the extra buildings on Nørrebrogade – in the light of both the degree programme resizing and the cost reductions?

AU will take the former Municipal Hospital area into use in step with the university’s needs. Currently, in overall terms, AU does not need more square metres of space, so that as the area is taken into use, other leases will be vacated. 

Relocation to the University City offers a unique opportunity to create a new and more modern campus which, combined with the existing and more classic university campus, will enable the university to create a fantastic study environment. This is an opportunity to gather AU’s activities and create an urban campus. The relocation will also trigger a major physical relocation process, with several research and teaching programmes being concentrated around the University Park and the University City.     

How can Aarhus University justify that the university is not gaining more square metres of space, when there are also to be more activities, more student housing and more businesses on campus?

It is correct that AU wishes to gather and concentrate the university's activities. In this respect, the way in which AU uses the sites will also be optimised. On building up the area and the interior layouts, there will be a strong focus on making the best possible use of the areas – for example, by more students/employees using the same cafeteria or the same common areas/outdoor areas. There will also be great focus on arranging flexible premises and areas that can be used for different purposes and which are the best possible solutions for the needs of students/researchers and AU.

In addition, FEAS will rent out areas directly for homes and businesses, just as they do with the Student Halls of Residence in the University Park. This takes place independently of AU and is thus not part of the total number of square metres available to AU.

     

What is the university’s vision for the campus of the future?

The vision is to strengthen and combine a number of the university’s research activities and to create a future-oriented and city-integrated campus with student life and activities 24/7. In addition to the university-related purposes, the vision is also for halls of residence, urban life, science park and related businesses to go hand in hand with student life and activities, around the clock. A campus must be created that is also connected to the surrounding neighbourhoods of Trøjborg, Katrinebjerg, Aarhus Midtby and Aarhus Ø.

As it takes the former Municipal Hospital area into use, Aarhus University will vacate other leases in Aarhus. What will happen to the buildings that are vacated?

With the exception of Navitas, which AU owns together with the Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering, Incuba and the City of Aarhus, AU does not own the buildings used by the university. AU will therefore terminate the leases for the relevant buildings, which will subsequently be leased to other parties. With regard to Navitas, AU will engage in dialogue with the other owners to ensure the best possible process.
  

Do students/employees have any influence on the relocation decision?

AU’s Board has taken the overall decision concerning who is to be relocated. The decision is based on an assessment of which subjects, programmes, research groups and so on can achieve good synergies from being combined with, or moving close to, other relevant fields of study.

How will employees and students be involved?

In the autumn of 2016, AU conducted an idea-generation process. Input concerning the future use of the buildings and areas at Nørrebrogade was obtained from internal and external stakeholders via two workshops, the website www.nycampus.au.dk and AU’s mobile information centre, AUtocampus. The extensive input received formed the basis for the work on the local development plan for the area and is also included in AU’s work going forward.

After the announcement of which subjects, programmes, research groups and so on are to be relocated, all students and employees are encouraged to contribute input to the master plan for AU’s physical development, and thereby to participate in further refining the visions and ensuring the best possible framework for teaching, research, student life etc. The decision on who is to be relocated has been taken. The senior management team wants your input on:

  • How do we create a good academic environment?
  • What student activities should be available?
  • What kinds of classrooms do you need?
  • How do we create the best teaching environment?
  • How can we support collaboration with business and industry and with new businesses?
  • How do we create good office environments?
  • Which kinds of cafeterias and cafés would you like to see there? 
  • Which kinds of outdoor facilities and spaces do you need?
  • Should there be sport facilities at the University City campus?

The individual faculties will also hold local meetings and gather input for the master plan. All input will be combined and incorporated in relation to the overall synergies in the work on AU’s physical development. The overall input will be presented to the Board in connection with the final adoption of the master plan in December 2018.

AU hopes that a great many of the students/employees involved will contribute input, so that they help to create the most optimal conditions at the new location and can see themselves as a part of this.

Once the relocation plans have been finalised and it has been determined who will move into which buildings, floors and rooms, local user involvement processes will be initiated.

How much will this cost AU?

The rent AU pays to FEAS will correspond to the area used by the university and will be based on a market-based property price per sq m. The gradual occupation will make it possible to adjust rent expenses to reflect the university’s actual space requirements. In relative terms, AU’s spending on rent and running buildings may not account for a larger proportion of AU’s overall budget. As AU’s budget or revenue increases, it will also be possible to invest in buildings and facilities and to achieve the vision for AU’s physical development.

What will Aarhus University do to compensate the departments and schools that are subject to the relocation plans?

It is clear that relocation will entail costs. It costs both time and money to vacate one location and move into a new one. In the last three years, AU has achieved a surplus and has been able to save up funds. AU’s objective is for the university’s equity to represent 10% of its revenue. AU currently has equity of 14% of its revenue. This means that some of the surplus will be used for new strategic initiatives, but also to finance double rent and relocation expenses.